On my way back to Nassau this week after 10 weeks in Europe I watched a 2-part documentary on the life of Muhammad Ali called What’s my Name Muhammad Ali produced by HBO. An incredible look into the life of one of the greatest leaders in the 20th and 21st century.
Like all great leaders, Ali stood for something greater than himself, and was clear that he was put on earth for a purpose. Boxing was a stage for him to launch his purpose from. He challenged the rules and norms in the USA and around the world, standing for equality for all people.
“God created everything for a purpose. The wise man is he or she who knows their purpose.” – Muhammad Ali
A deeply spiritual man whose focus was on service to mankind, helping them in countless ways from brokering the release of 15 US hostages in Iraq to standing up against the war machine by refusing to go to Vietnam or through the millions of dollars that he gave away to charities. Muhammad used his God-given talents and charisma to shake up the world in more ways than one.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room in Heaven.” – Muhammad Ali
A natural disruptor, not fearing rejection or caring what other people thought of him he stayed true to his values and principles of living a good and clean life as a Muslim man. He believed that God was watching him re how he lived and treated others. That this life is a test for how you lived.
“Anyone who is doing the right thing well they catch hell. You can’t please God and the Devil too so I am pleasing God. I am rejected here and rejected there and not wanted here then I have a good feeling spiritually cos I am right. If I wasn’t right then they would accept me.” – Muhammad Ali
An accomplished linguist Muhammad shared his truth on the stage with the world. His poetry touched the souls of millions of people, from “Fight like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” to “Me, We.”
One of the greatest characteristics of a leader is to be a role model for others and as Gandhi said, “To be the change that we want to see in the world.” Ali was certainly that, inspiring people all around the world to be great, just like him.
This documentary shows how Ali grew from a young kid into a world leader and the trials and tribulations he went thru to get there. We all have our own journey and through looking to examples of great men and women it helps us to overcome our own challenges. He lived the hero’s journey and left the world a better place for his presence.
“Man is floating on the world, on the ocean of activity not knowing where he is going, not knowing what he is doing and what seems to be important to man is the moment that he calls the present. The past is just a dream to him the future is in the mist and the only thing that is clear to man is the present.” – Muhammad Ali
If I may challenge you, your job is to do the same. To find your purpose in this world, why you were put here (hint: follow your bliss) and serve others through living it. To blaze a trail and lead through sharing your gifts with the world. As the Persian tradition teaches, it is right to be an example of a human being that thinks good thoughts, says good words and does good deeds. In other words to light up the world! Will you?